Texting while driving is still a huge national problem that various cities and companies around U.S. are trying to address. To raise awareness about dangers of texting while driving, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors declared today, September 18, 2012 the “No Texting While Driving” day.
An article in the Forbes magazine shares some statistics on accidents involving texting:
[spacer size=”10″]Although some phone carriers have committed funds to building awareness, none are taking the issue to the next step: preventing teens from being able to text while driving – period. The same article at Forbes discusses the possibility of making our smart phones even smarter – to be able to block texting capability automatically through use of motion detecting technology. The article calls for built-in functionality in phones that will detect when a person is driving and can disable texting functions without use of additional apps (that can be removed by teens.)
Texting while driving:
- Causes 25% of all accidents, totally 1.6M per year (Nat’l Safety Council)
- Causes 330,000 injuries per year (Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study)
- Is 6x more dangerous than driving while intoxicated (NHTSB)
- Is still legal in 11 states to text while driving; only 10 fully prohibit cell phones while driving
- Is not a teen-only problem with 47% of adults admitting to texting while driving (Washington Post, May 2012)
ATT is sponsoring a campaign called “It Can Wait,” aimed at teens to take a pledge not to text and drive. Will this effort be enough to stop 11 teens from dying in automobile accidents due to texting every day? – Probably Not. However, it’s a good start and a great way to build up the momentum that may lead to actual changes in product manufacturing.
Automakers are already urged to make changes to electronics that will prevent drivers from being distracted. Expect future vehicles to have new technologies to prevent hands-on access to texting, calling and navigation interaction. This however won’t stop teens from picking up their phone, since most don’t have a car with such new technologies to “benefit” from.
Distracted driving is an ongoing concern for NHTSB and public in general. With increasing awareness we can expect good changes to come around slowly, even though injuries will most likely continue taking place for some time. Parents are urged to educate themselves and their children on why it’s important to be patient while driving and keep those phones away until the final destination is reached.
[note color=”#DDD”]Want to help spread awareness? Then blog about the dangers of texting and driving. [/note]